AQA Religious Studies GCSE (1)

Unit 2: Religion And Life Issues

Topic1: Religion and Animal Rights

Topic 2: Religion and Planet Earth

Topic 4: Religion and Early Life

Topic 6: Religion and Young People

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  • Created by: Dementia
  • Created on: 31-03-12 19:24

Religious Beliefs Towards Animals

Animal Rights: The moral treatment of animals by humans in order that their lives and welfare are protected

Stewardship: The duty of humans given by God to care fo the natural world

How are humans different to animal?:

Have greater qualities than animals such as creativity, communications and instinct

Humans are at the top of the hierachy due to their intelligence and soul/spirit which gives us ability to have God consciousness 

Caring for Animals:

Sancitity Of Life: God created the World including animals and it should be respected. But human life is more sacred than an animal's.

Stewardship: The responsibilty given to take care for the natural world. Therefore, animals must be respected and treated the way God would want us to. To not do so is going against God's will and will be judged in the afterlife. 

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Animal Rights and Protection

What are Animal Rights?:

Rights are entitled because we are living beings. It is the behaviour that should naturally be given toward a human or animal due to them having physical feelings and emotions.

Animal rights refers to refers to the moral treatment of animals by humans in order that their welfare is considered and protected.

Problems with Animal Rights:

Humans are at the top of the hierachy so animals are considered less important. So they are treated differently. For example they're killed for food but could also be treated cruelly (bullfighting) and breeding programmes.

As they are not considered equal to humans we feell that they have no physical feelings and emotions. Therefore we desensitise our actions towards them and treat them without compassion.

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Protection for the rights of Animals

Animal Welfare Groups:

RSPCA - Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals

WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature

These groups:

Raise publice awareness of the mistreatment oif animals

Monitor animal welfare to ensure that they are treated humanely

Organise boycotts of businesses and products involved in the mistreatment of animals

Petition governments to change laws and industries that mistreat animals

Carry out direct violent actions like destroying laboratories to stop animal research

Law: protects animals from neglection and cruelty. They banned dog fighting and animal research on cosmetics. 

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Animals in Sports

Hunting: (fox-hunting) the foxes are killed by pack of dog hounds and it's ver inhumane. But it can also be done to protect livestock of farmers.

Competition: (Horse races) Winning horse races is very important for the owner but it puts horses in danger as they may get injurie and die or have to be put down.

Danger: (bullfighting) bulls are put into sever pains of exhaustation and are shot with spears. Then they are killed in front of the audience. 

Working Animals:

Transport: animals are used to pull sleighs in the arctic

Human assistance: guide dogs help lead blind people 

Entertainment: Circus animals are used to show tricks to the world which would amaze the audience thus earning money from entertainment

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Animal environment

Zoos: they are known to be appropriate as others would be able to see God's creations, it would educate us about creatures and allows us to appreciate the beauty of animals.

But they have less freedom to roam around and they are supposed to be in their natural habitat. They are also kept in enclosed cages. 

Wildife Parks and Aquariums: It's a less claustrophobic environment than zoos and larger. It's a more natural habitat and many wildlife engage in breeding programmes to preserve species. But it's not right to keep them away from the wild

Animals as pets: Pets are regarded as family and people love them so take care of them with respect and compassion.

However, some animls mistreat their pets by abusing them or keeping them in restrictive caged areas. Some people would question what quality of life they have. 

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Working Animals

Most religious believers would accept the use of animals for work as long as it is cared for, then such use is moral.

But for some people using them for entertainment purpose is an abuse and disrespectful to animals as they do activities out of their normal capacities. 


Transport - dogs are used to pull sleighs in the arctic regions.

Human assistance - guide dogs help lead blind people

Entertainment - circus animals performing tricks

Working animals: sniffing dogs used for police's benefits to sniff out illegal drugs 

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Animal Experimentation

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this was very helpful thanks, but could have done with some religious views

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